Not claiming to be an aficionado of any of these genres, Cats. The ol’ saying, “I don’t know what I like but I do when I hear it” applies here.
Dub – a very idiosyncratic genre. However, there be giants. Lee “Scratch” Perry, King Tubby and the Mad Perfesser, among others. After absolutely loving UB40’s Signing Off and Present Arms as a yoof, to subsequently experience Present Arms in Dub was a somewhat perplexing experience. Dub involving of course, much manipulation of instruments and sounds, in an often seemingly random and discordant fashion. Best enjoyed (presumably) after inhaling a certain ‘erb, Mon.
Ska – In many ways, the precursor of Reggae. Originated in the Caribbean Isle of Jamaica in the sixties, fusing particular musical styles. It experienced its most notable period of popularity courtesy of the 2 Tone record label releases in the hectic New Wave period of music of the late seventies and early eighties. Some of my favourite bands were purveyors of this style, the most notable being the (British) Beat. Yoof subculture fans of Ska back in the day were known as Rude Boys and Girls and tended to dress in mod inspired monochrome fashions.
Reggae – The best known of the three variants, courtesy of a certain Bob Marley. Came to prominence in the aftermath of the Rocksteady style. The term Rocksteady features in one of my favourite Madness tunes. Reggae itself is an immediately recognisable genre, characterised by offbeat rhythms and the use of offsetting staccato chords. Other prominent (and not so prominent) Reggae artists include Jimmy Cliff, Horace Andy (who would later gain a wider audience courtesy of Massive Attack), Keith Hudson, and Desmond Dekker. The Clash and the Police were also influenced by Reggae – see the latter’s album “Reggatta de Blanc”, for example, while two of my other favourite bands are Madness and the Specials, who were exemplars of certain styles identified above.
Now comes the hard part, choosing two songs. Here they are. Please assist to broaden our Reggae horizons by posting your favourite tunes here.
Sea of Love
Honourable mention – BB Seaton, “Thin Line Between Love and Hate”.